Home Health COVID-19 Same strategy works for protecting against COVID variants

Same strategy works for protecting against COVID variants

Self-isolating due to COVID exposure in BC at new record: 14,602 | Median age of people with VOC cases: 35 years

Wednesday April 7, 2021 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends

Today April 7 the number of people self-isolating due to COVID exposure in BC sets new record at 14,602 (up from yesterday’s peak 14,118).

More people are in ICU today (105) compared to 96 yesterday. There were no new variant-of-concern numbers today in the COVID report from Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry. Yesterday 207 new variant cases were reported and 266 active cases within a total of 3,766 (of which 75% were B117/UK).

“No matter what mutation may be prevalent, following all of the public health orders and using all of our layers of protection — without exception — is the best thing we can do to keep ourselves and each other safe,” said Minister Dix & Dr Henry their COVID statement today.

What does it take?

What does it take in the way of public health messaging to have people take this pandemic even more seriously?

Dr Bonnie Henry
BC Provincial Health Officer during April 6, 2021 media availability about COVID-19: variants of concern are on the rise.

Today’s reminder follows yesterday’s polite ask that people to adhere to the rules — stay home as much as possible (including no non-essential travel), don’t take part in social gatherings, always wear a mask in any indoor situation, stay home if you feel unwell, and so on).

And while the messaging is critically important, the pleas are strained and tired… perhaps matching the mood of the audience that they are intended for — everyone in BC is likely quite tired of all the pandemic strains, stresses and challenges.

“People are having more contacts now than a few months ago,” said Dr Henry. This is disappointing all the way around, as certainly interpersonal contact is the opportunity for the COVID-19 virus to spread.

Minister Dix continues to emphasize the readiness of the acute-care health-care system. “If you need hospital care, it’s there for you,” he said today.

Success for the “Get Vaccinated” portal:

The Get Vaccinated online vaccine registration and booking system for B.C.’s age-based immunization program is open for everyone to register and then later book their vaccine appointment when eligible. More than 305,000 people have registered so far (that’s 49,000 more who signed up today, on top of yesterday’s robust interest).

vaccine appointment
Three steps to booking a COVID vaccination appointment in BC. [BC Health]

Yesterday Dix thanked the teams that have made possible the launch of the online “Get Vaccinated” registration process, which by 2 pm had received 160,464 registrations and 23,827 appointments were booked. By 7 pm last night those numbers were up to 255,870 registrations and 35,268 bookings.

Appointments are currently open to people age 70 years of age and older, to Indigenous people age 18+, and to those who have received an official letter giving the status as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’.

That level of vaccination “shows the commitment of people in BC in getting the vaccine”, said Dix. As of April 7, 946,096 vaccine doses have been administered in BC (reaching about 22% of the 4.3 million adult population of BC); almost 20% of those are second doses. Herd immunity requires at least 60% if not 70% coverage in the full population (adults and children). COVID vaccines are not yet approved for use in children, as product trials are still underway.

Health Minister Adrian Dix
Health Minister Adrian Dix during April 6, 2021 media availability about COVID-19.

BC COVID stats at April 7:

Total cases in BC to date is 106,985 of which 8,728 are active (up from 8,671 yesterday. There were 997 new cases today (up from 1,068 new cases yesterday after the long weekend. On the four-day Easter weekend there were record-breaking tallies of new cases

  • 1,018 – April 1 to 2;
  • 1,072 – April 2 to 3;
  • 999 – April 3 to 4; and
  • 890 April 4 to 5.

A record-breaking number of people are isolating due to known exposure — now 14,602 (up from 14,118 yesterday) is now for comparison approximately equivalent to the entire population of the town of Sooke).

Of BC’s active cases (at April 6 — no variant update given today), 266 cases have been caused by one of the variants of concern (VOC). To date there have been 3,766 VOC cases in BC, a number that is rising steadily. Variants spread more easily and cause more serious illness.

COVID, BC, April 7
COVID-19 dashboard for BC at April 7, 2021 with graph showing daily case counts pandemic-to-date. [BC CDC]

Yesterday there were 207 cases added to the provincial total of VOC’s which is comprised of:

  • B.1.17 (UK): 2,838 – now comprises 60% of all new cases, and comprises 75% of all VOC cases
  • B.1.351 (South Africa): 51 – not too many new cases
  • P.1 (Brazil): 877 – found mostly in Vancouver Coastal

Of all people who’ve contracted COVID due to a variant, the average age is 35 years (and the median age for people with the P.1 variant is 33 years). This indicates spread within the active socializing community. Of all people with the B.1.1.7 variant, 90% of those are in Fraser Health.

There are 330 people in hospital with COVID-19 (up two from yesterday), with 105 in ICU (up from 98 yesterday). Hospitalizations to date stand at 5,528.

Another two deaths were reported today, bringing the total to 1,491 in BC, pandemic-to-date.

The positivity rate is also at a new top level at 10.4% (up from 10.2% yesterday).

Pandemic to date (now over a year), 5,142 children under the age of 10 have tested positive for COVID-19 (up by 64 since yesterday), as well as 10,603 youth and teens age 10 to 19 years (up by 85 since yesterday).

Presently nine schools are listed as having had COVID exposures in IslandHealth (two schools in SD62 in the west shore, and three in SD61 in Greater Victoria).

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Vancouver Island COVID stats at April 7:

Total cases in Island Health to date is 3,749 of which 545 are active (down from yesterday’s 585). There were 67 new cases today (down from yesterday’s 73).

Regionally, the lead in active cases previously seen in central Vancouver Island is now seen in the south Vancouver Island region, according to the Island Health COVID-19 dashboard on April 6: 254 south, 182 central, 27 north.

COVID, by age, Island Health
Distribution of COVID-19 cases by age in Island Health, to April 7, 2021. [BC CDC]

There are 19 people in hospital in Island Health with COVID-19 (up by two from yesterday), with six of those in ICU (up by two from yesterday). Hospitalizations in Island Health to date stand at 180.

In the past week there have been six new VOC’s confirmed in Island Health for a total of 20 cases on the island: 13 cases of B.1.1.7 (UK), 6 P.1 (Brazil) and 1 B.1.351 (South Africa). None are currently active.

No more deaths were reported today in Island Health, seeing the total at 31, pandemic-to-date.

The positivity rate is also at a new top level on Vancouver Island at 5.8% (up from 5.8% yesterday).

During the pandemic to date (now over a year), 248 children under the age of 10 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Island Health (up by five since yesterday), as well as 450 youth and teens age 10 to 19 years (up by six since yesterday).

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